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Western Animation / Moomins on the Riviera

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Moomins on the Riviera is a 2014 Finnish-French animated family film based on the Moomin comic strips by Tove Jansson. The film is a co-production of Finnish Handle Productions and French Pictak Cie.

The film is based on the Tove Jansson's original comic strip, Moomin on the Riviera and it is the first animated feature to be based on the Moomin comic strips rather than the books. In the film, the Moomins, along with Snorkmaiden and Little My, sail for the French Riviera, where their unity is threatened. Snorkmaiden is dazzled by the attentions of the playboy Clark Tresco and Moominpappa befriends an aristocrat Marquis Mongaga, while Moomin and Moominmamma decide to move to the beach in order to escape all the glamorous extravagance.

Riviera was released theatrically in Finland in October 2014 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Tove Jansson's birth.

Moomins on the Riviera provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Moominpapa and Moominmama with their tophat and apron and Snorkmaiden with her anklet.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Moominpapa and the Marquis Mongaga end up in trouble with the law after a bender when they dump the the governor's statue in the river and replace it with the elephant Marquis sculptured.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The theme song for the Japanese version is "Eye" by Kaela Kimura.
  • Amazing Technicolor World: Both Moominvalley and the Riviera feature colours you wouldn't normally see in nature such as yellow rivers and violet skies.
  • An Aesop: W!ZARD Radio summed it up as: "a clear cautionary tale against the corporate modern world and its obsession with image, reminding us to take a breather and be content with a simpler way of life."
  • Animated Adaptation: Of Tove Jansson's original comic strip of the same name.
  • Ascended Extra: A number of familiar Moominvalley characters make appearances in this movie despite not having been in this storyline in the comic strip at all.
    • Most notable is Little My, who didn't make her comic strip debut until well after the Riviera story... but here she joins the Moomins on the trip and is a constant presence throughout the film.
    • Pimple is another example; like Little My he was not in the Riviera story, and his quest to befriend a cat is taken from a later story from the comic.
    • And then there's Shadow, who was little more than a background character in the comic but here gets to play an actual role in the plot.
  • Becoming the Mask: Teased but ultimately subverted by the Marquis. He wants to be a free bohemian and tries to act like one but in the end just can't survive without his wealth.
  • Beginner's Luck: Snorkmaiden, despite mistaking a casino for a shop sweeps the games and becomes a millionaire.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Snorkmaiden's casino winnings and the little creatures the family find in the washed up crate are both used to get them out of trouble later on.
  • Closer to Earth: Moominmama is this compared to the other main characters, though even she has her moments (see Innocently Insensitive).
  • Compete for the Maiden's Hand: Clark and Moomin duel for Snorkmaiden.
  • Country Mouse: Moominmama is the best example, she hates the Riviera life with a passion. So much so she runs away to live on the beach.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Moomin gets very green eyed when Clark takes an interest in Snorkmaiden, so much so they end up duelling.
  • Darker and Edgier: Not so much darker but definitely edgier than the other animated adaptations of The Moomins. Critic Sara Steensig of gbtimes was enthusiastic towards the film but pointed out Moominpappa's painful hangover and Moomintroll's bitter jealousy, and noted that "These are phenomena that adults will recognize but most children will not, and they are shown in a way that will not make young kids wonder about things they are not ready for."
  • The Ditz: Played with and finally subverted by Snorkmaiden. She may be ditzy but in the end it's her who bails the family out of trouble when they need it.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Snorkmaiden and Audrey get a lot of attention.
  • Fish out of Water: Moominmama and Moomin don't take to the Riviera lifestyle at all and both end up living on the beach just to get away from it.
  • Fully-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Some of the cast, like Audrey and Clark, are always shown with clothes on.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: The little dog Moominmama finds.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Moominmama commits the faux pas of not tipping the hotel staff since she didn't know she was supposed to. They're not pleased.
  • Interspecies Romance: As always, Moomin and Snorkmaiden, but also Clark's interest in Snorkmaiden.
  • Little Miss Bad Ass: Little My is in top form in the movie.
  • Magical Realism: The French Riviera done Moomin style.
  • Meaningful Name: Audrey Glamour is a very beautiful socialite.
  • Out of Focus: All of Moominvalley as well as the rest of the cast that stayed behind there.
  • Parents as People: As always, a big part of the story. Moominpapa and Moominmama are just as much main characters as the younger generation.
  • Rich Bitch: Clark is a male example.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Clark and Moomin are Snorkmaiden's.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The little dog the Moomins meet on the Riviera.
  • Slice of Life: Like the comic it was based on, the movie is much more this trope than the books or the famous nineties anime. It's the story of a family taking a trip to the Riviera and the trials and tribulations they face there.
  • Take That!: Like the comic it was based on, the film critiques the culture of the Riviera and the art world. A good example would be how the owners of the hotel are ecstatic to get one of the Marquis' carved elephants...until they find out he made more than one, and tell the Moomins it makes it worthless. They're appropriately baffled.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Little My is tomboy to Snorkmaiden's girly girl.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Moomin is a combination of this and a Nice least when Clark isn't around.